In its third installment of the Good Pharma Scorecard, Roche and Novo Nordisk scored perfect marks in overall trial transparency, while Johnson & Johnson slipped from the high spot on the previous ranking.
The Good Pharma Scorecard, developed by Connecticut-based Bioethics International, is a ranking that attempts to show how effective pharma companies are at communicating results of their clinical trials. This year’s scorecard focused on clinical transparency and data-sharing practices in large pharmaceutical companies, specifically on trial registration, results reporting, publication and data-sharing practices. Both Denmark-based Novo Nordisk and Roche each scored 100% on the scorecard for transparency. When it came to data sharing, there was a four-way tie between Roche, Novo Nordisk, Novartis and Janssen, a division of Johnson & Johnson.
In transparency, Novartis comes in at number three, with a score of 99%, Merck at number four with a score of 93% and Bristol-Myers Squibb and Pfizer tied at number five with a score of 92 percent. Gilead Sciences comes in at number seven with a score of 91%, Janssen comes in at number eight with a score of 90%, AstraZeneca hit the chart in the ninth position with a score of 83% and Valeant rounds out the tenth spot with a score of 63%.
Rounding out the top 10 in data sharing are Bristol-Myers Squibb, Gilead Sciences and Merck in a three-way tie at number five, both with a score of 80%. AstraZeneca comes in next with a score of 78%, Pfizerwith a score of 75% and Amgen at 66%.
In 2017, Johnson & Johnson topped the Bioethics International Good Pharma Scorecard. It was the second time the life sciences giant had done so. Bioethics International stressed the importance of transparency as the key to protecting and respecting research participants and users of medicines and vaccines.
“Being able to learn from what other scientists have already done- both accomplishments and failures- stimulates innovation and ultimately the delivery of lifesaving results,” Bioethics International said on its website.
Jennifer Miller, the founder of Bioethics International, said the goal of the scorecard it to “help set ethics and social responsibility measures” within the pharmaceutical industry and provide “an independent tracking tool to both recognize best practices and catalyze reform, where needed, in companies.” Since the scorecard was first established, Miller said she and Bioethics International have been encouraged by the efforts of the pharmaceutical industry to share patient-level trial data and improved policies and practices when needed.
“However,” Miller added, “there is substantial room for improvement. Providing companies with a consistent, fair and achievable set of measures is important to encouraging and tracking further progress toward routine data sharing.”
Some improvements were certainly shown by companies, even following the initial assessment of transparency and data sharing. In addition to measuring companies’ data-sharing practices, the study tested whether the GPS ranking tool could improve companies’ practices. Bioethics International provided companies a 30-day window to amend their policies to meet the new data-sharing measure. At the end of the window, three companies improved their policies.
Since the Good Pharma Scorecard was first introduced in 2015, Miller said the industry’s overall median transparency scores have gone up year after year. In the latest scorecard, Bioethics International said that several companies’ data-sharing commitments exceeded the standards measured. Pointing to Novo Nordisk, Bioethics International said the Danish company provides access to trial data sooner than the standard required. Another company that the scorecard shined its efforts on was AstraZeneca. This U.K.-based company added a new provision to report annually the number of received data requests and the outcome of each. Swiss pharma giant Novartis added timelines for data sharing where previously none were specified and Gilead expanded its data-sharing policy by adding timelines for data sharing, Bioethics International said.